10 Signs That You Are Under Too Much Stress from 10 Signs That You Are Under Too Much Stress
10 Signs That You Are Under Too Much Stress
You struggle to concentrate
“When you are stressed you will find that your thoughts tend to be scattered as you flit from one though to another, thinking about what needs to get done and there’s no flow to your thoughts or your actions,” says Sonja Courtis, EFT, NLP and Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner who specializes in overcoming stress, depression and anxiety disorders. “You have a sense of overwhelm, to the point that you cannot concentrate on one task.” Brain function is impeded when we are stressed; which is ironic because we need our brain to be focused to get it all done, she adds.
You forget things and your memory isn’t as good as it should be
Know that feeling? Going from one thing to another and leaving stuff behind, forgetting events, forgetting conversations? Courtis says that this happens “because the body thinks it’s in survival mode, which means adrenalin is present in the body, and, when adrenalin is present, brain function doesn’t need to be optimal.” Stress causes our brains to be in it’s in a primal state of fight or flight, memory isn’t necessary when our brain is focusing on survival, she adds.
You are over reactive and short tempered
“Because stress is ‘fight or flight’ mode, we are less able to be calm and rational, we are in overdrive and subsequently respond to situations irrationally, little things can trigger big emotional reactions,” Courtis says. “One perceived wrong comment from a work colleague, spouse or family member, and we are off...and let’s not dare mention getting stuck in traffic. Road Rage anyone?”
Your digestive health is impacted
As with the previous slide regarding memory, “when adrenalin is present in the body, our main goal is to remove it (through the presence of the bi-product, cortisol),” Courtis says. “Cortisol is toxic and too much of it in our system means digestion and nutrient absorption are not a priority, because we need to get rid of the cortisol first. [Therefore], all other functions such as absorbing nutrients, repairing and renewing tissues and cells take second place. All stress will have a physiological impact at some time in our lives.”
You experience physical pain in the body
Chronic stress over time leads to all manners of physical pain and tension –stressed bodies are tense bodies, Courtis says. “We store stress in the muscles. The jaw, neck and shoulders are particular focus areas for holding physical stress and tension. Feeling stressed? Do a scan of your body and feel where you are holding tension.”
You are clumsy
“When we are in a stressed or rushed state, due to the lack of effective brain function, as mentioned [previously], we are not thinking clearly and, therefore, have a tendency to knock things over, bump ourselves and drop things,” Courtis says. “Again, slowing down and being present and noticing our actions and breath allows us to be far more efficient and effective. Less is, quite literally, more.”
You struggle to relax and have insomnia
“Know that feeling, tired by wired? Wake up in middle of the night and cannot switch off. If you struggle to slow down and/or you cannot switch off at bedtime or suffer insomnia, then this could be a sign of chronic stress,” Courtis says. “When we are wound up overexerted, it is hard to switch off and relax. Science now tells us that switching off through meditation, yoga and mindfulness practices will help relax and bring about better sleep.”
You carry excess weight around your stomach area
“So you feel you eat healthy and exercise yet you cannot lose weight? If you are under constant stress, then your body cannot remove the stress bi-product cortisol and this needs to be stored somewhere in the body until it can be removed,” Courtis says. “So if you overtrain, over-stress, [and] lack sleep, then cortisol remains high in the body.” So where does this excess cortisol get stored? Around the midriff as fat, she adds. “Sometimes gentle walks and yoga are more effective for weight loss than stressful exercise.”
You have shortness of breath and chest pains
“Shortness of breath and chest pains are a sign to slow down (and see your doctor) as these could be pre-requisite for heart attack,” Courtis says. “Heart attacks are very common in people with high stress levels. The calmer you are the deeper and slower your breath (remember oxygen is needed in the body for health) short breaths been depleted oxygen levels.” Check in to see how deeply you can breathe; if you struggle to breathe past your upper chest, then it could be a sign you are too stressed, she adds.
You have poor overall physical health
“Chronic stress and its other components such as anxiety and overwhelm, will, over time, lead to ongoing health issues. Illness and ‘dis-ease’ of the body all have a root cause in our emotional and mental wellbeing, add to that physical stress and not enough recovery, then our bodies are unable to rejuvenate and subsequently we end up sick,” Courtis says. “Colds and flus aside (these are normal and part of a toxin healing process) all illnesses and diseases can be prevented through a reduction in ongoing chronic stress.”